Welcome to Sentence Level Games for N. Yeah!
Throw away your flashcards! When your child sees "speech flashcards," he or she goes in to "speech mode." In "speech mode," your child can easily say N. It is a controlled situation without many distractions. However, when your child is not in "speech mode," he or she may not say N correctly.
At this level, your child is going to work on saying N during functional speech games. He or she will start to transition their speech progress into their automatic, everyday speech.
1. At first while playing, model the target word and/or sentence. Don’t force your child to repeat after you.
2. As your child learns the game, start prompting him or her to say the target words/sentences. If your child refuses, give him or her 3 opportunities to say the word. If he or she still doesn't say it, move on. DON’T CAUSE FRUSTRATION!
3. Adapt games to the level of your child. If your child is speaking using 1-2 word phrases, your phrases during a game should not be more than 2 words. We are working on speech not language skills here.
4. If your child is not speaking in sentences, don't worry! You can practice these games with single words as well. Just change the target sentences to single words.
5. Don't forget to give appropriate verbal, visual, and tactile cues as needed.
Lastly, remember to have fun!!
Nap time for toys!
Target Sentences: Nighty night ____(name of toy), Nap time
How to Play: Get out your child's stuffed animals and/or baby dolls. Play "house" with these toys and try to focus the imaginative play on putting the dolls down for a nap or night time. As each person puts a doll to sleep, say "nighty night" or "nap time" with a good N sound.
Get stickers out for this body part game.
Target Sentences: Sticker on nose, Point to nose
How to Play: Toddlers at this age are learning body parts and this game makes it a little more fun. I play it all the time!
Have your child say the body part name as he or she puts the sticker on you and vice versa. This game is seriously motivating! If you don't have stickers, that is okay. You can just point to body parts. Either way, just remember to do many repetitions of the word "point," "on," and "nose."
One fun guessing game!
Target Sentences: right hand, left hand, which hand?, this hand, that hand
How to Play: Each player takes turns secretly putting a mystery object in one hand. Then, that same player, puts both hands behind his or her back. The other player(s) takes turns guessing which hand has the object. In this game, there are opportunities to practice the N sound if you are the guesser or the hider with the phrases listed above.
All children love to play with phones...why not practice N at the same time?!
Target Sentences: Phone is for you, Phone call, Answer phone, Phone please
How to Play: This one is easy to do. You can simply play with your phone or you can do pretend play. For pretend play, play "house" with your child. Take turns pretending to make phone calls and/or answering the phone.
To play with a real phone, you will need to think of some function that your phone has that your child enjoys. The other trick is that whatever you chose should only last a few seconds. Therefore, your child has to continually ask "phone please" for another turn. I like to use the camera. The child has to say "phone please" before I will hand over my phone so he/she can take one picture. After the picture, he/she has to return the phone back to me and the cycle repeats. Easy!
Target Sentences: Want pen or pencil? Pen please, Pencil please
How to Play: Having some drawing fun. Get out a few pieces of paper and some pens and pencils. Tell your child that he or she has to ask for what he or she wants to draw with..."I want pen" or "I want pencil." Give your child whatever he or she wants and repeat the process.
We say the word "on" frequently. Learn some easy ways to practice it!
Target Sentences: Depends on the activity
How to Play: To practice the N sound while saying "on" can be overwhelming to remember since we say "on" so much. Therefore, my suggestion is to make one day or even one activity such as getting dressed an "on" day/activity. During this activity, encourage your child to say "on" with a good N sound. Below is a list of activities that naturally include the word "on."
Find the moon and practice
Target Sentences: I see the moon, Goodnight moon
How to Play: This one should be easy to remember. Every night before bed, look out the window and find the moon. Say goodnight to the moon. Done! Once you get in a routine, this will become second nature and you won't have to think about it.
I always end my practice ideas with my most functional conversational game. This one involves a meal time since we eat everyday making it easy to remember to practice N.
Target Words: lemon, spoon, bun, can, doughnut, dinner, honey, banana, cinnamon, lemonade, bacon, chicken, napkin
How to "Play:" This is not a game at all. Instead, be aware of the all the N words you or your child might say during meals. Encourage your child to pay attention to the N sound as well. A sticker or tally system for every N word pronounced correctly may be good motivation to remain concentrated for an entire meal. See if your child can beat their previous record!